It's quite possible that you will not need to take any placement tests. This depends entirely on which College you are going into, what your academic background is, and how much (if any) earned transferable credit has been posted to your academic record. If you do need to take a placement exam, please do so at least two weeks prior to your Registration/Advising date.
Wondering which placement tests you have to take? To find out, click on the College that you have been admitted to.
The Rhetoric courses are introductory courses for learning academic writing and research skills. Completing Rhetoric is a General Education requirement for all undergraduate students and is called 'Composition I.'
- If you haven't taken any college-level composition course, you will be placed into a RHET course based on your highest ACT English, SAT Critical Reading, or SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing score.
- If you have taken a college-level composition course, then your RHET placement is based on your previously taken, transferable English courses. Check your DARS report to see how much credit was accepted by Illinois. If you have earned transferable credit equivalent to RHET 105, you have met the General Education 'Composition I' requirement. If you have earned at least one hour of transferable credit for academic writing but not enough to fulfill our Composition I requirement, then you must enroll in RHET 233. By successfully completing RHET 233, you will simultaneously fulfill your General Education 'Composition I' requirement and your General Education 'Advanced Composition' requirement.
Transfer students who intend to enroll in a 'Calculus I' or lower-level math class are required to take the ALEKS PPL Math Placement Exam. The Department of Mathematics coordinates the online ALEKS PPL exam. To take this placement test, you will log in through the ALEKS PPL website, where you will find instructions and answers to frequently asked questions.
Math is the only placement test that you can take more than once. When you complete the test, your score will appear on the screen. If you are satisfied with the result, you will enroll in the course that you qualify for
. If you are not satisfied with the result, you can study the material that gave you difficulty by accessing the Preparation and Learning Module and then you can take the test again to try to earn a higher placement. Prior to a third attempt, you will be required to engage in the learning module for a minimum of 5 hours before you can log in and test again. If you wish to test a fourth or fifth time, this is permitted but you will need to contact the Math Department to request a password to access the test.
The Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning offers online placement exams in chemistry, physics, and molecular and cellular biology. Please note that you are allowed only one attempt and your test results will NOT appear on the screen when you complete the test. This is because it is very important that you meet with your academic advisor during Registration to discuss your placement test results and your course enrollment options. Results are valid for one year. This means, for example, that if you choose not to enroll in a chemistry course during your first or second semester, you may still follow the placement recommendation when pre-registering for your third semester. However, after that, you would need to take the departmental proficiency exam in order to obtain an updated evaluation of your knowledge level.
Languages Other Than English (LOTE)
Studying a language other than English is a General Education requirement at Illinois. All undergraduate students must complete the language requirement in order to graduate, and it is strongly recommended that transfer applicants complete it prior to enrolling at Illinois. Depending on your College, you will eventually need to complete either the third or the fourth level of a LOTE in order to fulfill your Gen Ed language requirement.
If you have not already fulfilled the language requirement, or if you did but you wish to study the LOTE further, you need to take a placement test in the language. The Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning offers online placement exams in French, German, Latin, and Spanish.
The East Asian Languages and Cultures Department administers placement exams for Chinese, Japanese, and Korean on campus (not online) at the beginning of each fall and spring semester; these are open to both new students and continuing students. Although demonstrating language proficiency in Chinese, Japanese, or Korean on these exams can fulfill the Gen Ed LOTE requirement, it DOES NOT earn you course proficiency credit. Registration for the East Asian language tests is required. You cannot just show up and ask to be admitted.
- If you wish to register for a Chinese course prior to being able to take the Chinese Placement Test, you should enroll in the class that you believe best corresponds to your skills level (see below), and then the Chinese Placement Test will determine whether you should stay in that class or move to a different level.
If you are not a heritage speaker of Chinese:
- No experience = you should enroll in CHIN 201
- 1 year of high school = you should enroll in CHIN 202
- 2 years of high school = you should enroll in CHIN 203
- 3 years of high school = you should enroll in CHIN 204
If you have some background in Mandarin Chinese but did not study it at another institution:
- CHIN 221 = Elementary Spoken Mandarin I
- CHIN 222 = Elementary Spoken Mandarin II
- CHIN 241 = Chinese Reading and Writing I
- CHIN 242 = Chinese Reading and Writing II
If you need to take a placement exam in another LOTE, contact the department to make arrangements.
Results from the language placement exams are valid for one year. This means, for example, that if you choose not to enroll in a LOTE course during your first or second semester, you may still follow the placement recommendation when pre-registering for your third semester. After that, you would need to take a departmental proficiency exam in order to obtain an updated evaluation of your knowledge level. Placement testing is available to you only during your first year.
Students who need extended time can also take the online placement exams. To request authorization for extended time, contact the Testing Center at Disability Resources and Educational Services (DRES) by calling 217-333-4604 (V/TTY) or emailing email@example.com. If you need any other type of accommodation, please contact DRES to make arrangements.
Click here for information about proficiency testing and course credit.
Click here for the cutoffs that apply to all students enrolling at Illinois in 2017-2018.
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